Year A - Easter or Assured
April 20, 2014
There is a great consolation for those who have struggled just to stay alive until this day of restoration from exile. It will be so for those (LGBTQ and allies) who have been exiled from full participation in The United Methodist Church when that denomination’s restrictive legislation is removed from its Book of Discipline. An internal exile or shunning is as destructive as a foreign exile, crusade, or inquisition.
Not mentioned is an equally great sorrow for those who were not able to be sustained during the generations long exile.
These disjunctures in process seem to be as natural as evolutionary development. We go through them as a cycle, seeming not to learn that repeated rebuilding is not as healthy as learning not to repeat from our previous discriminations. In recent decades this same United Methodist Church has had services of repentance for the way it has treated Women, Blacks, and Native Americans. It won’t be long before it goes on to repent for the way it is currently treating Sexual Orientation and Immigration. After these human identity realities based on one characteristic or another, the only one left will be in the mind. Next will come rules to restrict doctrine to one, true, statement. Not being willing to go on to discrimination against privilege of class and wealth, where else can non-learning from this sort of exiling tendency go than to loyalty oaths?
Hooray for restoration, but only if something has been learned from the exile. Otherwise we will simply repeat this exile/restore cycle with different particulars. If you are interested in a Jeremiah like prophecy regarding today you probably can’t do better than Chris Hedges. Listen in to Hedges here.
Easter is more than restoration or bloody Friday atonement.